Gevorg Karensky on set during a Jaguar commercial shoot.

profiles / alumni / film
April 26, 2014
By Teri Bond

Rapid RISE to Success

Gevorg Karensky (BFA 11)

A lifelong fan of cars and games, Gevorg Karensky has fashioned a filmmaking career that brilliantly blends both passions.

Born in Russia, he emigrated to the United States in 2002 at the age of 14. For his undergrad Transportation Design thesis at ArtCenter, the aspiring-surgeon-turned-filmmaker collaborated with Film classmate Cathy Peng (BFA 10) on the game and live action hybrid Grand Theft Auto: RISE.

It became an immediate viral sensation, generating more than 13 million YouTube views and earning Karensky a spot in Saatchi & Saatchi’s New Directors Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival. Critics praised his raw talent. “[It] blows every other fan-made project I’ve ever laid eyes on completely out of the water” (Sam Gibbs, Gizmodo UK).

Karensky recently wrapped A New Dawn, a launch film for the Jaguar F-TYPE R luxury sports car, which bears his filmic signature that at times blurs the lines between the real and the virtual. “ArtCenter opened the doors for me to start creating my very first projects and to experiment,” he says. “It was my home and I was there every single day from morning to night. [It] also gave me a great platform for entry into the real world.”